An open selection process may hinder bad practice
The recent revelations about speech plagiarism by Philip Baker, dean of the University of Alberta’s medical school,1 bring focus to the issue of the conduct of clinical educators: how are they assessed; what standards are required; and how are they appointed in the first place?
Dr Baker admitted lifting parts of his 2011 convocation banquet speech from an address originally made by renowned surgeon Atul Gawande.2 Given the rigorous anti-plagiarism rules for students—and the associated penalties—what measures are taken to ensure clinical educators follow the same strict standards?
Fakhreddin Jamali, fellow University of Alberta professor, says part of the problem could lie with the recruitment model itself. Referring to the closed panel appointment process at the university, he says, “They have a committee of selected or elected academics and they make them sign confidentiality agreements that they will not divulge the names [of candidates]—so nobody knows who they are—and that